Friday, June 17, 2011

Black Hole Shreds Star

A recent news story regarding the devouring of a star by a black hole, an event purported to take place perhaps once in one hundred million years in any galaxy (though I'm not quite sure how that gets theorized or proven), caught my attention. This rare event gives rise to some fun and intriguing setting ideas. The implications are fairly obvious for science fiction and superhero games, I suppose, but what about for Fantasy and even Medieval Fantasy games? I like the notion that such a thing could cause strife in a culture that had seen a particular star as part of its religious or mythological legacy. Let's say, perhaps, that a fantasy culture had long looked toward a constellation as having significant meaning. Let's further suggest that the shape of that constellation was humanoid with the brightest star in a location that was purported to be the heart of that humanoid. What if that was the star that had been devoured and its light no longer shone?

If that constellation represented a war god, it could be seen as a sign that the god either died or lost its power. The backlash against that religion in its region could be huge. Any number of other religions might begin preaching against the religion of that war god more openly. They might even cause a general rebellion if that religion also had political power. The events that developed could be a simple as one in a series heralding the waning of a single religion or as complex as a multi-factional, continent-wide struggle for dominance.

Or, what if the figure represented a god of compassion, perhaps the followers take it as a sign to change their own modus operandi. A region that depending largely on the goodwill of a religious organization for survival might feel quite the pinch if they suddenly one-eightied on their generosity. Maybe the leaders of that religion take it as a sign that the god of compassion no longer sees the people as worthy of her assistance. Perhaps the leaders are concerned that they've misinterpreted the constellation for the life of the religion and all sorts of new speculation could fuel a very different direction for the followers.

Do as you like but I love the idea that two neighboring states, each with one of the above interpretations, both find themselves in very differing situations because, not only of their divergent religious philosophies but also because both have long been shaped by the same star in different manners and both will now have to deal with the loss of that star.